CNMI's Ineffectual Immigration Debate

August 10, 2011

The CNMI House of Representatives adopted a resolution opposing H.R. 1466. The resolution is to "assert the local people’s rights not to have their community and culture radically changed." Huh? H.R. bill changes nothing, but perpetuate the disenfranchisement of a select group of foreign resident workers. The community and culture have already been radically changed by bringing in tens of thousands of foreign workers over the last three decades. Where have these people been living that they have failed to notice this?

If you read comments that some CNMI legislators made about H.R. 1466 you have to wonder what bill they actually read? Their arguments against the bill are unrelated to the contents of the bill.  The bill affects a mere 4,000 of the 16,000 foreign worker residents of the CNMI according to the bill's author, Congressman Gregorio (Kilili) Sablan. To be covered by the bill, a foreign worker must have a U.S. citizen immediate relative.

According to the Marianas Variety lawmakers complained that 11,000 (a number tossed about by Fitial and Willens) foreigners may get rights. No worries. The undemocratic bill proposes to keep the select-only group of foreign worker residents disenfranchised by restricting their travel and their political rights. At any rate, every foreign worker who qualifies for "protection" from the bill would already be able to apply for a green card now or in the future.

Another argument was that the 11,000 were "unemployed" and there was a concern about them getting jobs. Where do these statistics come from? Aren't the majority of the foreign workers employed? If there are some without jobs how will chaining them to the CNMI help them, their families, and the CNMI? Isn't it wiser to issue all of the legal, long-term foreign residents permanent residency status and let them decide if they will stay or go? Those with jobs would stay and continue to contribute to the community; those without could seek jobs elsewhere.

Some legislators repeated Governor Fitial's faulty reasoning that the bill would grant an estimated 11,000 foreign residents "amnesty." Amnesty is granted to someone who has violated the law. The people covered by the bill have not violated the law. Get it right!

Rep. Felicidad Ogumoro stated, "...if nonresidents will outnumber the indigenous population of the CNMI, “the vision of economic self-sufficiency and self-governing Chamorros and Carolinians will not be realized.” This woman's constant supremacist rants are unfounded and tiring already.

Meanwhile Frolian Tenorio continues his own delusional rants suggesting that the Republicans will dominate the U.S. Congress over the next few years and the CNMI will regain control of immigration.  It does not matter which party is in control of the U.S. Congress, the CNMI will never regain control of immigration.

Tenorio was the governor who first hired felon lobbyist Jack Abramoff in 1995 and led the CNMI in wasting $11 million in lobbying fees in an effort to prevent federalization of CNMI immigration and minimum wage.

Tenorio told the Marianas Variety that it seemed to him that the Democrats "hated us."  Huh? Over the years billions in federal tax dollars have been tossed the way of the CNMI. Not much hatred is demonstrated in that action is there?  Wanting to end a dysfunctional local immigration system was not based on hatred, but on justice and democratic principles. Rep. Tenorio and every CNMI legislator should read P.L. 110-229 and the Senate report on the bill that explains its purpose.

The report discusses the development of an unsustainable two-tiered society; ineffective immigration/border control; the persistent pattern of exploitation and mistreatment of aliens; and the huge population growth resulting from local policies and practices has overwhelmed the infrastructure and contributed to significant socio-economic impacts. It also states:
Elements of the CNMI's immigration policy are also simply inconsistent with Federal policies. Among these is the Federal policy that persons admitted into the U.S. to fill permanent jobs do so as immigrants with the ability to become U.S. citizens and full participants in the political process. 
Congressman Sablan and Governor Fitial should read the report also. The U.S. Congress never intended for there to be a CNMI-only status or to keep a segment of the population permanently disenfranchised.


Anonymous said...

I bet some of these 'leaders' couldn't pass a reading exam, and most probably never graduated from college. So frustrating and depressing.

Anonymous said...

Well Wendy are you for or against the US Federal takeover of CNMI Immigration? So far (you can't spin this) over ten thousand legal non-residents are facing deportation UNDER FEDERAL LAW. So, which is better for the CWs? Tenorio is correct in his assumption that the CNMI can regain control of it's immigration system. It may take an act of Congress but it can be done. Also Pam Brown represents these people as their lawyer (as you put it). Why isn't there a lawsuit against the Department of Interior, President Obama, Greg Sablan, etc.?

Anonymous said...

Wendy, you should have read the Saipan Tribune -Here's what it said ---

"Sablan said his bill does not give U.S. citizenship but if those covered want to become U.S. citizens, they should go through the normal process just like what CNMI House members are saying.

“Nothing is automatic,” Sablan said.

He said the status that his HR 1466 is proposing is the same status that the CNMI government is already granting certain non-U.S. citizens.

The delegate also said that the CW visa to be issued to qualified workers need to be applied for-“they're also not automatic,” he said.

“Those individuals who do not have a CW visa and do not have the protection of the INA will be out of status,” he said.

Sablan said his bill addresses the status of individuals left out in the CW regulations that are expected to be released next month."

The bill does nothing just like Sablan said. It's a waste of paper.He promised the U.S. citizens with OCW relatives to put in a bill. (and too bad for the rest of the useless OCWs that can't help him by voting!) It's a damn sorry way to make good on a promise. Screw 12,000 innocent people who are left out and screw the 4,000 that get nothing too. OMG!

Anonymous said...

Huhuuummmm.....another nick jr episode.

Anonymous said...

What a racist bunch of fools on the hill!

Anonymous said...

look like u.s. congress has no oblication as they promised by pl-110-229..all legal long term workers going to out of status by nov.2011.i belived all politician are lire..

Anonymous said...

"over ten thousand legal non-residents are facing deportation UNDER FEDERAL LAW"

earth to noni 8:53am. come in noni.


looks like we lost the fool.

hey noni 8:53am. were you asleep prior to Nov 2009? maybe you were not present in the CNMI or just chose to close your eyes and hold your hands over your ears. let me refresh your memory and the other people that pick and choose what they want when they attempt to retell things.

prior to nov 2009 the CNMI controlled its own immigration. we allowed people in and we forced people out. we did. at no point did the cnmi ever give foreign workers the right to stay in the cnmi indefinitely. what kind of green grass are you smoking?

each and every single year each and every single foreign worker was unsure of weather or not they would remain in the cnmi. where were you when that was the cnmi standard? no matter how long a foreign worker was in the cnmi, no matter how many kids they had here, each and every year when their contract came up for renewal they risked being (or were) sent back back to the country of their origin. under the cnmi immigration system.

for many we simply renewed and renewed and renewed. for some after years of getting underpaid or non-paid they piped up and the response from cnmi immigration was, "bubye", "adios" and they were not renewed and they were sent packing.

so noni 8:53am, don't give us your BS about, "which is better for the CWs?". the cnmi immigration system and its blind eye to the short period of tenure for foreign workers but the quick deportation as soon as they piped up was terrible for humanity. the cnmi system that kept foreign workers here for 20 or more years sitting anxious every year about whether they would be renewed or get sent packing was inhumane. the cnmi system that kept foreign workers tied like slaves to employers was sickening. the cnmi system that was allowed to flourish for over two decades was worse for everyone!

that system is gone now.

now that your memory is refreshed, it appears like you care deeply for the long term guest workers (CWs) that remain in the cnmi. i am glad. how about you turn you anger towards wendy around and instead scream at fitial an his band of imbeciles. scream and tell them to push for status for the long term foreign workers that you are afraid may be displaced. scream loud! thank the federal government for stopping that sick cnmi system. thank them for stopping that system of indentured servitude.

noni 8:53am and i ask the federal government to grant a pathway to citizenship to all of the long term foreign workers that are currently in the CNMI!

Wendy Doromal said...

Well Anonymous 8:53

Welcome to this site. I see you haven't been here before or you would know that I support federalization for all the reasons listed in the Senate Report quoted in this post.

I am extremely disappointed with the lack of coordination between the Obama Administration and U.S. Congress in implementing the takeover and not taking action to grant permanent residency to the legal, longterm foreign residents -the de facto citizens of the CNMI. (Of course, the lawsuit crazy governor helped to stall the progress considerably.) A status provision should have been in PL 110-229 and after the DOI report was issued the Administration should have pushed for legislation to grant permanent residency status to every legal, long-term foreign resident.

Tenorio is not correct. No Congress would restore immigration control to the CNMI. Sure, that could happen when pigs fly. Not holding my breathe -not worried at all!

Pam is the federal ombudsman and works for the U.S. DOI, as you well know. Why would she sue them?

Green Cards for All! said...

Anonymous 4:48 --

But see Ferdie de la Torre, “DHS files 30 more removal cases,” Saipan Tribune, Friday, August 12, 2011, available at

Unity Marchers --

“Federalization: You asked for it; you got it.”

Anonymous said...

Now I Know, Chamorro & Carolinian`s dumb brain.... How come they don`t know that their future destroyed by their self? All CNMI politician`s are greedy and selfish and uneducated.. And they don`t care their people who are innocent and poor people. I’m sure they will lose everything in near future whatever they try. Can be cure their dumb brain? I feel so sad for them…

Anonymous said...

The CNMI`s darkness future by their leaders.... How come they don`t know that their future destroyed by their self? They don`t care their people who are innocent and poor people. I’m sure they will lose everything in near future whatever they try. I feel so sad for them…

Anonymous said...

Green Cards For All,

i read that article. your point? that article has absolutely no information as to why removal is being requested. do you know? if so, why not post it here instead of acting like a smart ass.

DHS removing 30 foreigners from the cnmi. can you tell me how many foreign workers were removed annually in the cnmi when we controlled our own immigration?

are you also delusional and do not believe that any foreign workers were ever removed from the cnmi? do you not believe that workers contracts were not renewed and they were repatriated under cnmi immigration? well they were. i had many people i considered to be brothers and sisters removed or deported under cnmi immigration system.

you post that link to the 30 people being investigated by DHS as a tactic to make the federal government out to be the bad guys. take your kool aid and drink it up.

you blindly follow your inept leader fitial. you are all headed over a cliff.

here is an article for you, you worthless piece of s**t:

"CNMI Governor Benigno Fitial says he intends to ask the Department of Homeland Security to start deporting almost 2,000 unemployed foreign workers from the Commonwealth. "

here is a saying to go along with it:

governor fitial. you imbeciles voted for him and now we all have to endure his crap. you asked for fitial and yet we all suffer!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:09 THANK YOU! You told it like it is.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 12:09

I agree with what you said, but maybe you could attack the idea and not the person?

I wish there were statistics on how many foreign workers were deported by the CNMI over the years. It would be interesting to know how many left without collecting back wages that their criminal employers owed them. In 2008 I was in the airpot in Japan and a Bangladeshi man approached me telling me how he was being "sent home" by DOL. He pulled out a stack of papers and showed me an administrative order that showed he was owed thousands. He was devastated. Reparations are due to thousands.

Anonymous said...

2:07, that was the usual way NMI DOL handled things. Especially when the employer was one of the elected or "connected". They removed the workers so that there friends would not have to pay or be prosecuted.
Also there were many DOL (and Imm.) officials that had/have sponsorship schemes ongoing. (till today)without paying.